Tufted Duck: North Andover

December 28, 2015 in Nearby Waterbirds

CF2C0774-001While scanning among the wintering ducks in the NE corner of Lake Cochichewick this morning under clear skies, NW winds blowing 12+mph and gusting over 20 mph, and the wind chill at 18 degrees, observed Scaups, Ruddy Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Hoodies, Buffleheads, and a few Common Goldeneyes.  A wonderful treat to find the lingering Tufted Duck like a buried treasure in the group!

Common Merganser

February 18, 2015 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Common Mergansers have been seen on the Merrimack River in Lawrence over the past 2 months.  Both males and females keep busy diving for fish.  these Mergansers are beauties with the creamy white breast and flanks, dark backs, greenish black heads and bright red serrated bills used for grabbing fish!

Great Blue Heron cruising to the east!

October 20, 2014 in Nearby Waterbirds

Lots of Great Blues along the Merrimack River in Lawrence and North Andover.  They are always majestic flyers and a joy to watch.  This one flew by heading east after passing under the Rt. 495 overpass in Lawrence.  It met up down river with another Great Blue and they had fun chasing after each other…looked like a fun time!

Double-crested Cormorant

October 20, 2014 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Double-crested Cormorants continue to be very busy up and down the Merrimack River in Lawrence.  Now that the river has returned to full strength, the cormorants have moved off of the outcroppings in the middle of the river.  They fly back and forth and land for while on favorite fishing spots!

Great Blue Heron Rookery – Methuen

April 10, 2014 in Nearby Waterbirds

Perhaps no wading bird in Massachusetts is more familiar than the graceful and statuesque Great Blue Heron. This species has very adaptable feeding habits, readily taking fish, amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, and sometimes even small mammals. Its broad menu has made it a common sight at ponds, rivers, lakes, streams, marshes, estuaries, coastal bays, and meadows across the state in recent years. That hasn’t always been the case, however. A century ago, breeding Great Blue Herons were all but absent from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Great Blue Herons – Methuen Rookery

April 1, 2014 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Great Blue Herons nests in large colonies with many other mated pairs. These colonies are usually in forested wetlands or on islands with trees. The herons build large nests of twigs high in the trees to discourage predators, such as raccoons and snakes. The nests are often 3 feet across and almost as tall. The colonies are easily recognized by the many groupings of nests scattered throughout the trees.  The Methuen Rookery is busy with courtship activities and nest building!

Common Goldeneye in flight

December 30, 2013 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Common Goldeneye has been one of the most frequently seen wintering ducks this winter.  They are real beauties and wonderful to watch.  They tend to be skittish towards humans along the shoreline, and when in doubt, they will takeoff in flight right away.  In some locations, they will fly upriver and then reverse course on a downriver heading.  this allows time to set uop for some nice flight images!

Common Goldeneyes in flight

December 27, 2013 in Nearby Waterbirds

Always a treat to watch the many wintering ducks along the Merrimack River.  This winter has been busy with Goldeneyes, all three Mergansers, and Buffleheads!

Common Goldeneye

November 26, 2013 in Nearby Waterbirds

The cold weather brings back some of the beautiful wintering ducks that make their winter home on the Merrimack River in Lawrence.  The Buffleheads arrived about 2 weeks ago and the Goldeneyes have just arrived.  They are beauties and especially if you are blessed to watch them in flight mode!

Great Blue Heron rookery teeming with action!

June 9, 2013 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Great Blue Heron rookery is teaming with action among the many occupied nests and the many nestlings all on the verge of fledging!!  Mass Audubon Breeding Bird Atlas indicates that for the first two months, the young remain in the nest and are dependent on the parents, both of which tend the young. They gradually become more adventurous, stepping out onto the rim of platforms and nearby limbs. The first flights occur at 55 to 60 days.

8 photos of Heron nestlings posted: http://www.pbase.com/birdshots/image/150743658   Click “next” upper right to advance frmaes…enjoy!